Introduction -- Fatalism, free will, and foreknowledge -- Mind, the metric, and conventionality -- Time travel and backward causation -- Time's origin, and relationism vs. substantivalism -- McTaggart, tensed facts, and time's flow -- Presentism, the block universe, and perduring objects -- The arrow of time -- Zeno's paradoxes and supertasks.
F. H. Bradley (1846-1924) was considered in his day to be the greatest British philosopher since Hume. For modern philosophers he continues to be an important and influential figure. However, the opposition to metaphysical thinking throughout most of the twentieth century has somewhat eclipsed his important place in the history of British thought. Consequently, although there is renewed interest in his ideas and role in the development of Western philosophy, his writings are often hard to find. This collection unites (...) all of his published works, much of which has long been out of print, together with selected notebooks, articles, and correspondence from his previously unpublished remains. The set therefore provides the opportunity to view his entire philosophy, both in the breadth of its scope - from critical history and ethics through logic to metaphysics and epistemology - and in its historical development - from the earliest Hegelian writings to the later more psychological and pragmatic work. In addition the set features introductions to Bradley's writings, life and character, providing the framework to assess his permanent importance in the history of philosophy. --the first ever publication of all Bradley's works --includes 5 volumes of reset material, mostly never before published --a collecton that all serious philosophy libraries should have --extremely comprehensive new editorial matter --volumes 4 & 5 are indexed by subject and name --collects Bradley's correspondence, spanning 50 years, with Russell, Samuel Alexander, Bosanquet, Haldane, William James, Andrew Seth Pringle-Pattison, and many others --includes Bradley's notes on Green's lectures on ethics, selected undergraduate essays, notebooks preparatory of his major works, lists of what Bradley read, essays that never reached publication, inventory of Bradley's papers, and a catalogue of Bradley's personal library. (shrink)
This book comprises essays in law and legal theory celebrating the life and work of Jim Harris. The topics addressed reflect the wide range of Harris's work, and the depth of his influence on legal studies. They include the nature of law and legal reasoning, rival theories of property rights and their impact on practical questions before the courts; the nature of precedent in legal argument; and the evolving concept of human rights and its place in legal discourse.
It has been proposed that the law of non-contradiction be revised to permit the simultaneous truth and falsity of the key sentences of the logical paradoxes, e.g., This sentence is false. In an attempt to show to what extent this bizarre suggestion of inconsistent models or truth-value gluts is a coherent suggestion it is proved that a first-order language for number theory can be semantically closed by having its own global truth predicate under some non-standard interpretation and thus that it (...) actually can contain the Liar sentence. It is proved that in this interpretation the Liar sentence is both true and false, although not every sentence is. (shrink)
Philosophers are interested in a constellation of issues involving the concept of truth. A preliminary issue, although somewhat subsidiary, is to decide what sorts of things can be true. Is truth a property of sentences (which are linguistic entities in some language or other), or is truth a property of propositions (nonlinguistic, abstract and timeless entities)? The principal issue is: What is truth? It is the problem of being clear about what you are saying when you say some claim or (...) other is true. The most important theories of truth are the Correspondence Theory, the Semantic Theory, the Deflationary Theory, the Coherence Theory, and the Pragmatic Theory. They are explained and compared here. Whichever theory of truth is advanced to settle the principal issue, there are a number of additional issues to be addressed: i. Can claims about the future be true now? ii. Can there be some algorithm for finding truth – some recipe or procedure for deciding, for any claim in the system of, say, arithmetic, whether the claim is true? iii. Can the predicate “is true” be completely defined in other terms so that it can be eliminated, without loss of meaning, from any context in which it occurs? iv. To what extent do theories of truth avoid paradox? v. Is the goal of scientific research to achieve truth? Table of Contents.. (shrink)
Abstract Jonathan Weisberg (Analysis, 70(3), pp. 431–438, 2010 ) argues that, given that life exists, the fact that the universe is fine-tuned for life does not confirm the design hypothesis. And if the fact that life exists confirms the design hypothesis, fine-tuning is irrelevant. So either way, fine-tuning has nothing to do with it. I will defend a design argument that survives Weisberg’s critique—the fact that life exists supports the design hypothesis, but it only does so given fine-tuning. Content Type (...) Journal Article Category Original Article Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s10670-011-9322-y Authors Darren Bradley, Philosophy Department, 160 Convent Ave, New York, NY 10031, USA Journal Erkenntnis Online ISSN 1572-8420 Print ISSN 0165-0106. (shrink)
The eighteenth century was a time of brilliant philosophical innovation in Britain. In Of Liberty and Necessity James A. Harris presents the first comprehensive account of the period's discussion of what remains a central problem of philosophy, the question of the freedom of the will. He offers new interpretations of contributions to the free will debate made by canonical figures such as Locke, Hume, Edwards, and Reid, and also discusses in detail the arguments of some less familiar writers. (...) class='Hi'>Harris puts the eighteenth-century debate about the will and its freedom in the context of the period's concern with applying what Hume calls the "experimental method of reasoning" to the human mind. His book will be of substantial interest to historians of philosophy and anyone concerned with the free will problem. (shrink)
Fischer on death and unexperienced evils Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11098-010-9667-0 Authors Ben Bradley, Philosophy Department, Syracuse University, 541 Hall of Languages, Syracuse, NY 13244, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
John Harris has previously proposed that there is a moral duty to participate in scientific research. This concept has recently been challenged by Iain Brassington, who asserts that the principles cited by Harris in support of the duty to research fail to establish its existence. In this paper we address these criticisms and provide new arguments for the existence of a moral obligation to research participation. This obligation, we argue, arises from two separate but related principles. The principle (...) of fairness obliges us to support the social institutions which sustain us, of which research is one; while the principle of beneficence, or the duty of rescue, imposes upon us a duty to prevent harm to others, including by supporting potentially beneficial, even life-saving research. We argue that both these lines of argument support the duty to research, and explore further aspects of this duty, such as to whom it is owed and how it might be discharged. (shrink)
In Reason's Grief, George Harris takes W. B. Yeats's comment that we begin to live only when we have conceived life as tragedy as a call for a tragic ethics, something the modern West has yet to produce. He argues that we must turn away from religious understandings of tragedy and the human condition and realize that our species will occupy a very brief period of history, at some point to disappear without a trace. We must accept an ethical (...) perspective that avoids pernicious fantasies about ultimate redemption but that sees tragic loss as a permanent and pervasive aspect of our daily lives, yet finds a way to think, feel, and act with both passion and hope. Reason's Grief takes us back through the history of our thinking about value to find our way. The call is for nothing less than a paradigm shift for understanding both tragedy and ethics. (shrink)
In this comprehensive study of Wittgenstein's modal theorizing, Bradley offers a radical reinterpretation of Wittgenstein's early thought and presents both an interpretive and a philosophical thesis. A unique feature of Bradley's analysis is his reliance on Wittgenstein's Notebooks, which he believes offer indispensable guidance to the interpretation of difficult passages in the Tractatus. Bradley then goes on to argue that Wittgenstein's account of modality--and the related notion of possible worlds--is in fact superior to any of the (...) currently popular theories in this area. In this context, he examines and critiques the work of such figures as Adams, Carnap, Hintikka, Lewis, Rescher, and Stalnaker. (shrink)
In drawing on my own research and collaborative work with Karl Pribram, I show that love (affective attachment) and power (social control) play a central role in psychosocial evolution. When these relations are coupled in a self-regulating system of cooperative interactions, brain growth is stimulated, mind and agency develop, and stable forms of collective social organization are generated. Focusing on the endogenous dynamics of social collectives, the article is organized in four parts. (A "social collective" is defined as a (...) durable arrangement of relations among two or more individuals that is distinguished by shared membership and collaboration in relation to a common function or goal.) Part I summarizes evidence from developmental neuropsychology and social science to show that stable psychosocial organization, across the human life span, is associated with social interaction organized along two dimensions. One dimension involves love, positive affective attachment, and the second involves power, social regulation of the aroused affective energy. Part II draws on Piaget's theory of cooperation and Bradley and Pribrams' theory of communication to describe how mind and agency are generated, and how stable organization is produced, respectively, from the relations involved in the arousal and regulation of affective energy. Combining elements of the two theories, Part III presents a sketch of a holographic model of collective organization in which goal-directed behavior is generated by a feed-forward process involving imaging and information processing of interaction along the two dimensions. Part IV shows how the model accounts for the emergence of human agency within the context of a more general evolutionary theory, such as Laszlo's. The article concludes with a discussion of my approach for building a "fully human theory of evolution.". (shrink)
The Doomsday Argument says we should increase our subjective probability that Doomsday will occur once we take into account how many humans have lived before us. One objection to this conclusion is that we should accept the Self-Indication Assumption (SIA): Given the fact that you exist, you should (other things equal) favor hypotheses according to which many observers exist over hypotheses on which few observers exist. Nick Bostrom argues that we should not accept the SIA, because it can be used (...) without knowledge of birth rank. Bradley Monton tries to construct a Doomsday Argument without knowledge of birth rank. I argue that Monton fails. The argument he constructs has implicit knowledge of birth rank and it is this knowledge that does the work. Furthermore, I argue that provided we dont have certain specific information about the future, the Doomsday Argument requires knowledge of birth rank. (shrink)
Nigel Harris argues that the notion of national capital is becoming redundant as cities and their citizens, increasingly unaffected by borders and national boundaries, take center stage in the economic world. Harris deconstructs this phenomenon and argues for the immense benefits it could and should have, not just for western wealth, but for economies worldwide, for international communication and for global democracy.
`Social theory is a very difficult subject to teach and it is one that students generally find hard to get to grips with. Teaching Yourself Social Theory offers a highly original and comprehensive resource that will be welcomed by students and teachers alike' - Barry Smart, University of Portsmouth `I have no hesitation in recommending Harris' text to students and teachers of social theory' - Sociology This refreshing and accessible text demonstrates how social theory can be made into an (...) intelligible discourse that touches upon key aspects of everyday life. The abstraction and formalism of much contemporary social theory is criticized as unnecessarily `scholastic' for the beginner. The author maintains that the main problems in studying the subject are not intrinsic to social theory, but derive from how the subject is taught as a university discipline. This lively book uses non-specialist terms to introduce more complex themes, and incorporates a Website with questions and reading guides to some of the classic works. (shrink)
This selection from the writings of the great English idealist philosopher F.H. Bradley, on truth, meaning knowledge, and metaphysics, provides within covers of a single volume a selection of original texts that will enable the reader to obtain a firsthand and comprehensive grasp of his thought. In addition, the editors have contributed general introductions to Bradley's logic and metaphysics and particular introductions to specific topics. These provide a systematic explanation of his thought and relate it to developments wihin (...) the recent history of analytical philosophy, giving the reader a framework in which to read and appreciate this important and sometimes difficult writing. Admirably suited for use both as a textbook in taught courses on recent philosophy and for individual study, this introduction comes at a time when Bradley's thought is being reassessed and the importance o his work appreciated once more. As one of only two volumes of Bradley's works available, it is sure to become an essential Bradley reader. (shrink)
The Oxford Readings in Philosophy series brings together important recent writing in major areas of philosophical enquiry, selected from a variety of sources which may not be conveniently available to the university student or general reader. In this volume, John Harris presents the examples of the very best philosophical writing in bioethics from an internationally renowned list of contributors; authors featured include Peter Singer, Helga Kuhse, Tom Beauchamp, Ruth Macklin, and Ronald Dworkin. The book begins with a substantial overview (...) by John Harris, looking at the evolution and nature of bioethics, contemporary debates, and introduces each of the pieces included, setting them in their academic context. -/- Organized thematically, the volume covers the beginnings of life, end of life, value of life, quality of life, future generations, and professional ethics. It is a wide-ranging volume that covers the broad spectrum of the major topics in bioethics, and its clear and accessible approach makes it essential reading for all students of bioethics. (shrink)
Why has the ring of the telephone become a beep? What ever happened to the bumpers and fenders of cars? Why do food commercials never mention hunger?In this encyclopedia of low-brow aesthetics, Daniel Harris concentrates on the nuances of non-art, the uses of the useless, the politics of product design and advertising. We learn how advertisers exaggerate our sensual responses to eating, how close-up nature photography exaggerates the accessibility of the natural world, and how the mutated physiology of dolls (...) invites our pity and affection.In studying its aesthetics, we find consumerism instills disappointment rather than gratification, convincing us that our lives are deficient and wanting. If we are what we buy, then we must buy in order to be. (shrink)
A BELIEF IN FREE WILL touches nearly everything that human beings value. It is difficult to think about law, politics, religion, public policy, intimate relationships, morality—as well as feelings of remorse or personal achievement—without first imagining that every person is the true source of his or her thoughts and actions. And yet the facts tell us that free will is an illusion. In this enlightening book, Sam Harris argues that this truth about the human mind does not undermine morality (...) or diminish the importance of social and political freedom, but it can and should change the way we think about some of the most important questions in life. (shrink)
Who am I, and what am I? The question is one asked through the ages, answered in various ways in different disciplines. Identity is a matter of intellectual interest but also of personal and practical interest, attracting attention and stimulating controversy outside the ranks of the specialists. This volume offers a comparison and cross-fertilization of insights and theories from various disciplines in which identity is a key concept. -/- Identity contains essays by six internationally famous contributors, focusing on different facets (...) of identity from the viewpoint of their various disciplines. Two philosophers, Bernard Williams and Derek Parfit, discuss, respectively, numerical identity (when can we say that two phenomena observed at different times are one and the same thing?) and personal identity (how far can the concept of `I' be stretched, and does it always matter whether we can say if that would still be me?). Henry Harris looks at philosophical discussions of identity from the persopective of an experimentalist, and discusses whether philosophical thought-experiments have any basis in scientific reality. -/- The essays that follow offer perspectives from outside philosophy: Michael Ruse considers homosexual identity and to what extent it is reasonable to claim that homosexuality is a social construct. Terence Cave looks at personal identity through the eye of literature and fiction, and portrays idetnity as generated through the narratives that one weaves about oneself or about other people. Finally, Anthony D Smith looks at national identities and how they are formed, analysing how this process is shaped by the interplay of cultural inheritance, political expediency, and myth. (shrink)
As hopes that generative linguistics might solve philosophical problems about the mind give way to disillusionment, old problems concerning the relationship between linguistics and philosophy survive unresolved. This collection surveys the historical engagement between the two, and opens up avenues for further reflection. In Part 1 two contrasting views are presented of the interface nowadays called 'philosophy of linguistics'. Part 2 gives a detailed historical survey of the engagement of analytic philosophy with linguistic problems during the present century, and sees (...) the imposition by philosophers of an 'exploratory' model of thinking as a major challenge to the discipline of linguistics. Part 3 poses the problem of whether linguistics is dedicated to describing independently existing linguistic structures or to imposing its own structures on linguistic phenomena. In Part 4 Harris points out some similarities in the way an eminent linguist and an eminent philosopher invoke the analogy between languages and games; while Taylor analyses the rationale of our metalinguistic claims and their relationship to linguistic theorizing. Providing a wide range of views and ideas this book will be of interest to all those interested and involved in the interface of philosophy and linguistics. (shrink)
When philosophers put forward claims for or against 'property', it is often unclear whether they are talking about the same thing that lawyers mean by 'property'. Likewise, when lawyers appeal to 'justice' in interpreting or criticizing legal rules we do not know if they have in mind something that philosophers would recognize as 'justice'. -/- Bridging the gulf between juristic writing on property and speculations about it appearing in the tradition of western political philosophy, Professor Harris has built from (...) entirely new foundations an analytical framework for understanding the nature of property and its connection with justice. Property and Justice ranges over natural property rights; property as a prerequisite of freedom; incentives and markets; demands for equality of resources; property as domination; property and basic needs; and the question of whether property should be extended to information and human bodily parts. It maintains that property institutions deal both with the use of things and the allocation of wealth, and that everyone has a 'right' that society should provide such an institution. (shrink)
Suppose that at the moment of death, a person goes out of existence.1 This has been thought to pose a problem for the idea that death is bad for its victim. But what exactly is the problem? Harry Silverstein says the problem stems from the truth of the “Values Connect with Feelings” thesis (VCF), according to which it must be possible for someone to have feelings about a thing in order for that thing to be bad for that person (2000, (...) 122). But in order for a person to have feelings about a thing, the person and the thing must coexist in some way. Thus Silverstein feels compelled to endorse a metaphysical view he calls “four-dimensionalism,” but which I prefer to call “eternalism”: the view that purely past and purely future objects and events exist.2 I agree with Silverstein that the badness of death entails eternalism. But the reason is different. Eternalism must be true in order for there to be a time at which death is bad for its victim. Death is bad for its victim at all those times when the victim is worse off for having died: namely, the times when he would have been living a good life had that death not occurred.3 Silverstein rejects this view; he thinks there is something wrong with the very question of when death is bad for its victim. In what follows I argue that Silverstein has not shown the relevance of eternalism to VCF or the badness of death, and I defend my view about the time of death’s badness against Silverstein’s arguments. (shrink)
: The concept of the person has come to be intimately connected with questions about the value of life. It is applied to those sorts of beings who have some special value or moral importance and where we need to prioritize the needs or claims of different sorts of individuals. "Person" is a concept designating individuals like us in some important respects, but possibly including individuals who are very unlike us in other respects. What are these respects and why are (...) they important? This paper sets out to answer these questions and to develop a coherent and useful concept of the person. (shrink)
Virtue consequentialism has been held by many prominent philosophers, but has never been properly formulated. I criticize Julia Driver's formulation of virtue consequentialism and offer an alternative. I maintain that according to the best version of virtue consequentialism, attributions of virtue are really disguised comparisons between two character traits, and the consequences of a trait in non-actual circumstances may affect its actual status as a virtue or vice. Such a view best enables the consequentialist to account for moral luck, unexemplified (...) virtues, and virtues and vices involving the prevention of goodness and badness. (shrink)
Recent literature on intrinsic value contains a number of disputes about the nature of the concept. On the one hand, there are those who think states of affairs, such as states of pleasure or desire satisfaction, are the bearers of intrinsic value (“Mooreans”); on the other hand, there are those who think concrete objects, like people, are intrinsically valuable (“Kantians”). The contention of this paper is that there is not a single concept of intrinsic value about which Mooreans and Kantians (...) have disagreed, but rather two distinct concepts. I state a number of principles about intrinsic value that have typically (though not universally) been held by Mooreans, all of which are typically denied by Kantians. I show that there are distinct theoretical roles for a concept of intrinsic value to play in a moral framework. When we notice these distinct theoretical roles, we should realize that there is room for two distinct concepts of intrinsic value within a single moral framework: one that accords with some or all of the Moorean principles, and one that does not. (shrink)
A popular view about why death is bad for the one who dies is that death deprives its subject of the good things in life. This is the “deprivation account” of the evil of death. There is another view about death that seems incompatible with the deprivation account: the view that a person’s death is less bad if she has lived a good life. In The Ethics of Killing, Jeff McMahan argues that a deprivation account should discount the evil of (...) death for previous gains in life. I argue against discounting evils, and show how a version of the deprivation view can accommodate McMahan’s examples. (shrink)
Jeff McMahan says it's worse to die as a twenty-year-old than as a baby. I argue that he is wrong, and that in general it is worse to die the younger you are. I show that among other problems, views like McMahan's are incompatible with the idea that there is value in narrative unity or the shape of a life.
Sometimes people desire that their lives go badly, take pleasure in their lives going badly, or believe that their lives are going badly. As a result, some popular theories of welfare are paradoxical. I show that no attempt to defend those theories from the paradox fully succeeds.
Diversity of opinion both presents problems and aff ords opportunities. Diff erences of opinion can stand in the way of reaching an agreement within a group on what decisions to take. But at the same time, the fact that the differences in question could derive from access to different information or from the exercise of diff erent judgemental skills means that they present individuals with the opportunity to improve their own opinions. This paper explores the implications for solutions to the (...) former (aggregation) problem of supposing that individuals exploit these opportunities. In particular, it argues that rational individual revision of opinion implies that aggregation problems are unstable in a certain sense and that solving them by exploiting the information embedded in individual opinion has profound implications for the conditions that we should impose on aggregation procedures. (shrink)
According to color realism, object colors are mind-independent properties that cover surfaces or permeate volumes of objects. In recent years, some color scientists and a growing number of philosophers have opposed this view on the grounds that realism about color cannot accommodate the apparent unitary/binary structure of the hues. For example, Larry Hardin asserts,
the unitary-binary structure of the colors as we experience them corresponds to no known physical structure lying outside nervous systems that is causally involved (...) in the perception of color. This makes it very difficult to subscribe to a color realism that is supposed to be about red, green, blue, black, and white—that is, the colors with which we are perceptually acquainted.1
Adams' famous thesis that the probabilities of conditionals are conditional probabilities is incompatible with standard probability theory. Indeed it is incompatible with any system of monotonic conditional probability satisfying the usual multiplication rule for conditional probabilities. This paper explores the possibility of accommodating Adams' thesis in systems of non-monotonic probability of varying strength. It shows that such systems impose many familiar lattice theoretic properties on their models as well as yielding interesting logics of conditionals, but that a standard complementation operation (...) cannot be defined within them, on pain of collapsing probability into bivalence. (shrink)
There are gaps in the Social and Ethical issues literature regarding the structure of individual ethical reasoning and the process through which personal ethical standards erode or decline. Social Penetration Theory may be used to view ethical issues of low, moderate, or high salience. It also produces a model of the process by which an individual turns to less desirable ethical reasoning and behavior.
Richard Jeffrey regarded the version of Bayesian decision theory he floated in ‘The Logic of Decision’ and the idea of a probability kinematics—a generalisation of Bayesian conditioning to contexts in which the evidence is ‘uncertain’—as his two most important contributions to philosophy. This paper aims to connect them by developing kinematical models for the study of preference change and practical deliberation. Preference change is treated in a manner analogous to Jeffrey’s handling of belief change: not as mechanical outputs of combinations (...) of intrinsic desires plus information, but as a matter of judgement and of making up one’s mind. In the first section Jeffrey’s probability kinematics is motivated and extended to the treatment of changes in conditional belief. In the second, analogous kinematical models are developed for preference change and in particular belief-induced change that depends on an invariance condition for conditional preference. The two are the brought together in the last section in a tentative model of pratical deliberation. (shrink)
This work seeks to explain intuitive perception - those perceptions that are not based on reason or logic or on memories or extrapolations from the past, but are based, instead, on accurate foreknowledge of the future. Often such intuitive foreknowledge involves perception of implicit information about nonlocal objects and/or events by the body's psychophysiological systems. Recent experiments have shown that intuitive perception of a future event is related to the degree of emotional significance of that event, and a new study (...) shows that both the brain and the heart are involved in processing a pre-stimulus emotional response to the future event. Drawing on this research and on the principles of quantum holography, I develop a theory of intuition that views the perception of things remote in space or ahead in time (nonlocal communication) as involving processes of energetic resonance connecting the body's psychophysiological systems to the quantum level. The theory explains how focused emotional attention directed to the nonlocal object of interest attunes the bio-emotional energy generated by the body's psychophysiological systems to a domain of quantum-holographical information, which contains implicit information about the object. The body's perception of such implicit information about things distant in space/time is experienced as an intuition. (shrink)
: This article connects two of Dewey's generic traits of existence—stability and precariousness—to four elements specified in his preface to Democracy and Education (democracy, evolution, industrialization and the experimental method) and one element specified in his preface to How We Think (childhood). It argues that Dewey's metaphysics of stability and precariousness is implicit in his philosophy of education and provides a unifying aspect to his philosophy of education that is relevant to the modern world. The article then briefly looks at (...) whether Dewey developed a metaphysics at all and concludes that Dewey did indeed develop a metaphysics—a new metaphysics of human experience—which needs to be further analysed in relation to various aspects of his philosophy of education. (shrink)
Emphasis in business ethics texts and courses has generally focused on corporate and other relatively high-level ethical issues. However, business school graduates in early career stages report ethical dilemmas involving individual-level decisions, often including influence attempts from one or more members of their work role sets. This paper proposes the use of role set analysis as a pedagogical technique for helping individuals to anticipate and deal with early-career ethical issues.